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How to make my relationship work

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Married man of 13 years, beautiful wife 3 kids aged from 2,10 and 11.

I have been really struggling recently with keeping my relationship together. My wife (41) is a fantastic mother and i truly am in awe of how she makes and keeps everything working in our family. 

We both work, my wife part time and me full time - I more than provide for our family financially being lucky to earn well in what i do for a career. I dont work long hours or weekends.

This is my 1st post and quite difficult to articulate, but here goes!! We just dont seem to work together...

Where do i start... 

We both love our children very much but i personally need and want affection. Get this in abundance from my children but significantly less and less from my wife. A great example would be in a morning before the children wake we are both awake, she will turn to check her phone rather than turn to me for affection, as i do her. The minute the kids come in its the opposite... she cannot embrace them quickly enough. Without wanting to sound like a person jealous of his own kids i just really struggle with it. I pay her compliments - they seem to be an inconvenience. Try to be intimate through the day by touching her in appropriate ways so she knows how i feel for her... but very rarely are any advances returned and if anything it feels like i'm in the wrong.

I am not the easiest to get along with by any stretch, i can be lazy and selfish at times which doesnt help. I'm often forgetful of trivial tasks that need to be done but maybe its vain of me to thing "am I really that bad?"

The best way i can describe us would be i am trying to pull her toward me and it feels as though she is pulling away. Sex is not on the cards currently whereas previously fairly regular. 

I'd love to hear any words of advice from anyone going through something similar.

The options i am facing now are seeking professional help - for me / couples. Or do i make it pretty clear my frustrations as i have previously and if things dont change we separate (we have discussed this before but moved forward)

I'm all ears... thanks in advance (concerned husband and father 🙂 

Topic starter Posted : 13/12/2021 9:54 pm
Prominent Member Registered


Welcome to the forum. 

Well done for reaching out and seeking support. 

Whilst I'm not the best person to give relationship advice (going through a divorce), I have been doing a lot of self reflection to ensure that my next relationship doesn't end like my previous. Having spoken to a couple of friends who have now been married over 20 years, amongst a lot of guidance they have given 2 me, a few of things stand out. 

Communication - have you spoken to your wife? As in really spoken to her away from the kids, over dinner/coffee.. Often many of the problems start small and then grow due to a lack of proper communication.

Love Language - not sure I'm into this as yet but my friends swear by this. I'm only mentioning this as you say you've tried giving compliments etc and that you may not be on top of trivial tasks.. Maybe as part of communicating you both need to look at what each others love language is to ensure you express your feelings in a way that each other recognises/appreciates. (look up the 5 love languages online, there are books, online quizes/guides etc)..

Couples counselling - if you try everything else and nothing works then consider counselling. Many couples avoid this but it saves many a marriage as the facilitator is an expert in exploring the above 2 points amongst many other issues to help sort things out.


Just some of my thoughts. 


All the best. 

Posted : 13/12/2021 11:56 pm
New Member Registered

@Daddyup Really appreciate the thoughts / feedback. I will look at the love languages online.

I really don't want to start any kind of counselling to be honest but if that needs to happen to save our marriage then its an option. 

Communication - is a fundamental flaw in our relationship! We just rarely seem to be on the same page, i get defensive with loads of questions and she is just inquisitive and curious about the things a do and decisions i make. 

I suppose time will tell.


Have a great xmas!!

Topic starter Posted : 14/12/2021 9:34 am
Reputable Member

I'm not a counsellor either but it sees to me that if you carry on the same way, its like a slippery slope and things won't improve.  If you can change in a small way, then things will be different.  Maybe at the weekend, ask her what she'd like you to do around the house, especially now when its a busy time.  Ask her how you can help.  Have a date night perhaps.  Answer her questions without being defensive.  Do the decisions affect her?  If so, you should involve her in them.  Ask her what she'd like to change around the house - keep the conversation simple not too heavy.  

Posted : 14/12/2021 10:10 am
Active Member Registered

Hi there,


Firstly, sorry to hear of your current situation. Reading your post reminded me alot of where I have found myself on and off over the past 2 years and I even see similarities in being Forgetful and defensive etc. 


Love languages is a good place to start and 100% agree on having a straight conversations. Make it a safe place to talk and make sure you kerb the defensiveness.  


Once you know and understand the real issue you can at least plan ahead. If you do not wish to seek professional help there a tonnes of books/ ebooks you can read/ listen to which can really help.  My favourite was 'the seven principles for making marriage work'. It gives some practical things you can both do to make things better and it's ideal if you read through it together.

Hope things perk up for you  

Posted : 02/06/2022 10:38 pm
Active Member Registered

Hi! It's cool that you decided to solve this problem instead of running away from it. I'll try to give some advice, but first I'll tell you my story.

My husband and I have been married for 11 years. Everything was fine, but at some point, I felt that something was wrong. I began to suspect him of cheating, because he became very close to me. He started staying late at work more often and so on. After reading forums and blogs, I clearly decided that he was cheating, because everyone said that this is a sign of adultery.

One day, while he was at work, I packed my things and left. Of course, when he came home, he didn't understand what had happened and where I had gone. He found out from my friends where I was and came to see me. After talking to him, it turned out that he wasn't cheating at all, but that he was estranged from me because I was estranged. I just didn't notice it, and he told me that I stopped paying attention to him at all, became a housewife and saw nothing and no one but the baby.

What was that about? Well, the commenter above said it right - you need to communicate. Talk to your wife, talk about all the things you care about. If she goes into contact, zhayochet listens, wants to work on the relationship, then congratulations, you will succeed! If she is not interested, if she won't even listen, then she probably doesn't need it, and you should let her go.

Posted : 01/08/2022 7:15 pm
Active Member Registered

By the way, pay attention to whether she is flirting with men. it could be a microflirtation, which is difficult to disclose. This could indicate that either she is cheating on you, or she is not getting enough attention from you, so she is trying to get the attention of others. This is worth working with a psychologist if you want to save the relationship. Again, it's worth talking to her about it. Is she happy with everything and does she get enough from you? Read about microflirting here . I think it will help you understand your relationship a little bit. But remember, you can't solve anything without the help of an expert. You have a lot to work out with a marriage counselor.

This post was modified 4 months ago by mamaria
Posted : 07/08/2022 12:51 pm

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